Dear TSA Team:

I hope that 2013 finds you, like me, fit and optimistic and recommitted to our core mission of protecting Americans.

Our society is increasingly arrogant and uncooperative. We need to assure passenger compliance with our core message. What better way to achieve that goal than with a new TSA theme? I'm excited to announce that the new theme is Think of the Children!

Now, the TSA has long been at the forefront of serving young Americans with innovations like its "Cool Strangers With Candy" and "And Your Little Child, Too!" programs. But we haven't been focused enough on how we can serve adults by serving kids.

Americans love their children. But Americans need to recognize that their children are in grave danger. I'm not just talking about the danger of terrorists attempting to travel by plane, one of which we will, without a shadow of a doubt, catch or detect any day now. I'm talking about a far more insidious danger: terrorist recruitment.

Too often our nation's pre-kindergarteners are adrift, lacking leadership and a firm grounding in core American values like unquestioning compliance and complete absence of critical thinking skills. Their young minds are a playground for terrorist indoctrination and so-called "questioning." If the terrorists believe that we won't screen these children strictly, thoroughly, even ruthlessly, then the terrorists will redouble their recruitment efforts, sparing no expense to sway children with sweets, rhythmic songs and bright colors and/or shapes.

That's why we must redouble our efforts to search young children. It's for their own good. It makes them a less attractive target for terrorist and libertarian recruitment.

I'm pleased to report that Operation Think of the Children! is proceeding successfully. Dedicated TSA agents all across America are reaching out to protect America's children by sending them for special screening, discouraging parental interference, and separating them from potentially hazardous stuffed animals and whatnot. They're protecting children from possible bad influences.

I'm particularly glad so see that our TSA agents have absorbed their training and recognized that disabled children — too often shunned and belittled by our society — are at particular risk for terrorist recruitment and therefore should be given additional scrutiny.

Remember, if passengers are non-compliant with our efforts to secure their children, law enforcement is there to help. Don't take any back-talk! Parents may talk to you about "rights" and cite "rules" at you, but you're the one in charge. Tell them what you think the rules are, and we'll work out the nuances later.

Look, people: I know you have a tough job. I know that you're not paid as well as you should be, and that you've taken this job, stepping up to offer careful hand-screening to dozens of children a day, out of to fulfill a compelling need. Keep doing what you'll do. Meanwhile I'll keep the naysayers off your back.

Now, go screen a kid for me.


From: John S. Pistole, TSA Administrator

To: TSA Employees


Happy Friday, TSA Family! Today I'm not coming at you with a bunch of boring rules, like my last memo. No, today I'm here with kudos for our Tip Top TSA Team!

Today the kudos belong to our team members at Dallas Love Field for putting a non-compliant civilian in her place:

Deaton — who has a medical condition — said Transportation Security Administration agents at Dallas Love Field crossed the line after they noticed something hanging from her stomach. She told them it was a gastric tube to flush toxins from her body.

They pulled her aside for a pat-down. Deaton said it happened behind a screen and not in a private room, and away from her luggage. Agents asked to look at the tube.

"When I pulled my shirt out and they catch a glimpse of it, they both go, 'Ugh!'" Deaton said. "I said, 'Thank you for your professionalism.'"

And they said "thanks for shutting up, beeyotch!" BOOM! Amirite?

Anyway, our team members in Dallas handled it exactly right. Here's the thing, friends: and we've been complaining for years, some of the American people have stopped offering us the unquestioning compliance we are entitled to as a result of our official rank. That's because of attitudes creeping back into the American psyche — attitudes like dignity, bodily integrity, the equality of all whether in uniform or not, and individuality. These are not post-9/11 American values. They are 9/10 values. We need to push back, and remind Americans they are a group, not individuals, and need to submit without question or complaint for the good of the whole. As generations of drill sargeants, camp counselors, and nontraditional religious group leaders know, you break down these obstructionist individual values by breaking a person down and building them up again as part of a group.

This civilian in Dallas may call it "humiliation." But remember that the root of "humiliation" is "humility" — the very spirit with which civilians should approach you, the officials assigned to instruct them in their obligations as a member of the traveling public. The sort of tactics used by our Dallas team are exactly the sort that will break down stuck-up individuals and turn them into complaint team members. If you have any doubt, review some of the other techniques that we've used effectively:

Eat their lunch. I mean literally.

–Faced with an uppity woman? A good hard probe will put her in her place.

Take toys from the developmentally handicapped. If they don't know their place, who will?

–A A full pat-down of a child in front of a helpless parent will establish that the state is the REAL parent entitled to obedience.

–People are sensitive about bodily fluids like breast milk. Use that to break them down.

–People are also sensitive about prosthetics. The more private the replaced part, the more sensitive the civilian. Use that. It works. Trust me.

–The gal in Dallas only had a tube, which is of minimal use. Some people have bags. If you have control over their ostomy bags, you have control over them. Watch that only they get doused with bodily fluids, though. Dry cleaning isn't free!

–Not everyone is hard to break down. Some people come pre-broken-down. Watch out for people who may have been crime victims. They make useful object lessons to others.

–Similarly, if you show an elderly veteran who's boss, others will fall in line.

–Some "nontraditional" folks are particularly stubborn about recognizing our authority. Hand them pliers and tell them "lose the hardware, hippie." Puts them in their place every time.

In short: MAKE THEM RESPECT YOU. Remind them where you came from.

Some people — people who aren't quite yet "with the TSA program" — have asked me if it is right to use humiliation as a weapon to make Americans return to post-9/11 unquestioning compliance. "Aren't Americans a free people?" they ask. "Don't they deserve better?"

Look: if they were really a free people, or really deserved better, would they be letting us do this?

Anyway, kudos again to the team at Love Field. Your T-shirts are on the way. Attaboy!


From: John S. Pistole, TSA Administrator

To: TSA Employees

RE: Policies & Procedures Update

Summer's here! More Americans are traveling, and I thought I'd just take the time to drop a note to my big, happy family of TSA line agents.

1. Hygiene Reminder: People, people, please remember to wear your gloves! It's summer, and it's hot, and you're probing the groins of a higher number of people, and lots of them are sweaty, and . . . I'm just saying. I don't want to be presiding over some sort of outbreak scenario here.

2. Working For the TSA Is a Privilege: Always remember that you have grave responsibility and power conferred upon you: the power to grope the genitals of complete strangers. Better yet, they aren't allowed to grope you in return. No backsies! Tell me, do your friends working a shift at Dairy Queen have those sorts of perks? But look: this brings up a slightly uncomfortable subject. Human sexuality is wondrous and beautiful. It's completely normal to have certain feelings and urges, even when you are working, especially when your work requires you to touch the primary and secondary sex characteristics of strangers. But the time to express those urges openly is not on the job — it's after work, or at least during an approved break.

3. Substance alert: I've been getting some questions about people carrying the ashes of loved ones here, and I understand there is some confusion about proper protocol. What it comes down to is this: I trust you, people. If your instinct is that ashes are dangerous, you just go ahead and poke around in that flier's grandma. I've got your back. Maybe the person's dead, but that doesn't eliminate all threats. Jesus Christ came back from the dead, and he was Middle Eastern, amirite? See, that's just the type of levity that will help lighten the mood when you're sorting through the remains of dead people in front of the bereaved. Logic also works: tell the passenger that you would have full authority to probe their father if he were alive, so it makes no rational sense to complain about you doing it when he's dead.

4. Hiring Alert: I'm excited to announce that we're increasing our presence at Amtrak stations. We believe that Amtrak's commitment to efficiency and safety and our commitment to customer service and good judgment make a winning combination. As a result, we're hiring again! Got a friend who has been out of a job? Have they been drifting through life aimlessly? They can find pride again searching random strangers at a train and/or bus station!

5. Regarding Pay: Look, people, I'm doing everything I can on the Hill to get your salaries bumped up. But let me remind you: self-help is OUT as an option. You'll get raises. Just keep your eye on the balls.

6. Kudos Time: I just wanted to give a shoutout to my dear friend, Blogger Bob, who writes tirelessly to promote the idea that what the TSA does is necessary and appropriate. Bob's a bit of a jokester! Just the other day he said to me, "Hey Johnny — what would happen if the American people started probing all these lists of items seized and asking hard questions — like 'how does this compare to what was seized pre-TSA?' and 'did any of these people have terrorist ties, or was there any indication that they meant to do harm?' or 'how are these seizures from bags connected to touching the genitals of grandmothers and children?'" And then I said — and I kept a straight face, people — "Yeah, what if the media started asking tough questions, too?" And then we busted up. That's just the type of team we are around here.